29 Courageous Quotes To Inspire Your Writing Today

The following quotes are taken from blog posts, Tweets, and Facebook messages written by me over the past three years.

“There are times when you no longer see the Ups and Downs as Ups and Downs, but as one great spiral, spinning directly towards all that was meant to be.”

“Little by little I have taken ownership of my life. I have begun to take responsibility for the choices I have made and will make. This is my life and no one else’s. Only I get to judge it because only I have lived it, and luckily…  I APPROVE.”

“We’d rather believe that it’s someone else’s fault that we are unhappy. That they messed us up. But our life isn’t theirs to mess up. It’s ours. That is not to say that we are purposely messing things up, no. It is more to say that at every point in our lives we chose to decide how we would deal with every mess that came our way.”

“Yoda was wrong. ‘Trying’ is vastly underrated. You’d be amazed at how much you can grow if you just ask yourself to try, instead of demanding that you do or do not.

“I’ve been waiting for someone else, out there in the world, to give me a break, to give me the chance to prove to them that I am good enough.  But maybe what I really need to do is be the first one to give myself the chance to prove that I am already good enough.  The very first person that needs to fully accept me is me.”

“When feeling powerless, focus your attention back on what you can control: what you think, what you say, and what you do. These three things seem innocent enough, but they are extremely powerful and fortunately, they are always within your control.”

“We are not our history. We are so much more. History doesn’t move, but we move. We must do justice to this constant flux. We must shed all the old stories, to make room for all the brand new ones.”

“The truly healthy, happy relationships last a long time because both members of the partnership feel whole and complete all on their own. An individual in this partnership feels like their partner compliments them, but they do not feel like they complete them. This is an important difference.”

“If we don’t tell the stories that we know, and the ones that have been passed down to us, those stories will die with us. There’s nothing more tragic than a great story gone extinct out of the gross negligence of a storyteller whose responsibility it was to tell it.”

“If life throws 100 craps at you, then just build 100 toilets to flush down all that crap. (Pardon the grotesque analogy.)”

“I chose not to stay put and say ‘so what?’ I chose to do. I chose to create. I chose to take big risks, fail, and get back up again. My life is a big deal and so is yours. Don’t shortchange yourself.”

“Trust me. You do suck. You will suck. You will always suck. At the beginning. But not near the end. The thing that’ll make you great is if you allow yourself to suck long enough for you to become awesome.

“Remember to do something special for yourself today. You deserve it.”

“If you had a good writing day today, don’t forget to strut afterward.”

“Choose your words wisely today. They carry weight. Here’s a secret I’ve learned: whenever you choose words that inspire, you are given inspiration in return.”

“When you’re stressed about how or where to start, just relax and start with what speaks to you the most.”

“Remember: if you want to write a great book, you need to live a great life. So every once in a while, take a break from writing and go out on an adventure.”

“Feel like a failure? Did you know that if you don’t judge your progress by external factors that you can never feel like a failure?  If you simply ask yourself to ‘try’ and then go out and do your best every time, then you can never be a failure in your book. Remember: at the center of you there is always a perfection that is untouchable.”

“The world needs more activists and wise, honest political leaders, this is true. But if you have a talent and passion for writing, please know that the world desperately needs you, too. If a revolution is gonna happen, who’s gonna record it? You.”

“My responsibility as a writer is to show up every day to that page and write. In that action I have great personal will power. However, if I increase my personal responsibility to include all of the random occurrences and travesties of the world, then I become small, weak, helpless and dreadfully useless. What good is that? And what good am I to the world if I only add to the ranks of the disparaging?”

“When facing insurmountable life obstacles to your writing, your current burden is all the news you need, why scare yourself up more with the Shock and Awe of modern media? Admit it to yourself, the news makes you sick. That’s because it is a toxin. To focus on negativity (disasters, worst-case-scenarios, habitually exploding little problems into exponential catastrophes) on a constant basis would be a sign of Depression in a human being, why can’t we diagnose the News with the same malady?

“Fear is simply at one end of the courage spectrum. If we are afraid then we should be reassured, because it means we have a great potential to be courageous. Now, I don’t think we can really get rid of fear, but we can keep it in its dormant state by increasingly tapping into our courage potential.”

“Uncertainty is what great stories thrive on, it’s what makes us excited about writing and about reading. Maybe we can imagine our lives as a story that is unfolding. After we experience a dramatic climax, instead of fearing it getting worse, or leading to disaster… maybe we could wonder: is it time to prepare for the dénouement?”

“Everyone in this world can believe in you, but if you don’t, you just can’t make it. Keep the practice of believing in yourself daily, don’t drop it. You’re ability to live this life with joy will depend on it.”

“Giving up is a choice—it’s not something that can “get” you, it’s something that you choose to accept. So simply choose not to accept it and keep moving forward.”

“Today I invite you to honor the small things in your life. Don’t look at these things as a nuisance. They are not. Small things are what big lives are made out of.”

“Instead of focusing on the bad, focus on the good, the great, on the miracle. Turn the black rock over and see a green bud underneath.”

“Too much modesty with ourselves can be hurtful: we end up knocking ourselves down and feeling like we’re the most wretched writer on earth. When that isn’t true. As long as you can admit your imperfections, I think it’s not a bad thing to pat yourself on the back for things you have gotten better at over the years, especially if you have worked very hard to get better at them.”

“If you ask me what do I do, I’ll always tell you, whether I know you or not, that I’m a writer. I’m writing a book. It’s exciting, it’s fulfilling, it’s a work of love, it’s a worthwhile endeavor, and there’s not much else you need to know about me other than that.  Don’t think that’s very interesting? Ok. But you don’t have to think it’s interesting. I do.”

much love,


Today’s Courage Exercise

Pick a quote from the above list that moves you the most and then write about it in your journal.

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6 comments on “29 Courageous Quotes To Inspire Your Writing Today

  1. Kate says:

    Thank you for all these wise words!

  2. Thanks, Ollin! I plan to save in a Word doc so I have a supply of inspiration!

  3. I’ve always felt that we have a responsibility to the stories we’re telling. Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone in feeling that way.

  4. timethief says:

    What a wonderful collection. I will bookmark it so I have it close to hand.

    This is the quote that will inspire me to write tonight in my private journal:

    “Choose your words wisely today. They carry weight. Here’s a secret I’ve learned: whenever you choose words that inspire, you are given inspiration in return.”

  5. Lovely writing wisdom, Ollin. Take care of your words and I will take care of mine. ❤

  6. I made a special time to read this post, Ollin, and it deserved that. And another reading. And saving it in a Word doc. You inspire me and drag me out of the dumps so many times. I have a lot of stress on me right now, but when I remember to write my stories I am instantly way above the stress. It disappears in about 2 minutes. Thanks for reminding me by gathering these quotes together for us. -Dana

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